26 Apr 2021

A landlord has been handed nearly £30,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to maintenance and safety failures at three properties.

Landlord Naomi Knapp, of Bedminster in Bristol, agreed to pay £2,000 a month for at least the next year to meet the fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling £29,597.59, after admitting failing to meet required standards of management in three HMOs. 

Confirming, in mitigation, that she had carried out the work required and produced relevant safety certificates, Knapp also recognised it would be a responsible step to engage a property management company and agreed to hand over 18 properties to an independent agent to manage the HMO licences.Bristol council officers visited the three properties last summer and discovered conditions to be poor in each.

Following up a complaint by five tenants of one HMO about an electric shower as well as concerns about the condition of the property they had just started renting, council officers uncovered a long list of breaches under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006, (The Management Regulations).

These included failing to ensure the means of escape from fire was clear, adequate maintenance and keeping outdoor spaces safe and free of rubbish.

A further complaint from tenants at another HMO led to similar findings, with a long list of items in disrepair and safety breaches uncovered.

Meanwhile, a check at the third HMO revealed that work on additional kitchen facilities, improvements to the fire safety systems and ventilation to the bathroom had not been completed, with further management regulation breaches including a huge stack of rubbish and cycles in the garden.

Knapp entered guilty pleas to three offences for eight offences in all.

A Bristol council spokesperson says: “Naomi Knapp is a portfolio landlord who has been renting property for many years and the magistrates commented that as such she should have the knowledge and experience to act on the issues identified.

“The council has agreed with Ms Knapp that all the properties which require a licence with are handed on to a professional agent to hold the licences. As a consequence the tenants can expect the properties to be managed and maintained to a higher standard in the future.”

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